Paul McGrath picks greatest Ireland teammates.
Paul McGrath has named Liam Brady and Roy Keane as the two best footballers he played with for the Republic of Ireland.
The legendary Aston Villa defender undertook an extensive Q&A session over on his Instagram on Christmas Day and when asked by a follower who was the greatest Irish player he played with, he answered that it was “very close” between the ex-Arsenal man and the former Manchester United skipper.
Roy Keane and Liam Brady.
It was Brady who got the nod when McGrath was asked who his favourite all-time Ireland player was, as opposed to his best teammate, with McGrath answering ‘Liam Brady, closely followed by Roy Keane.’
McGrath‘s Ireland career was bookended by playing with Brady and Keane, with the former being a veteran when the defender entered the Ireland squad in 1985, and the latter emerging as an influential leader by the time he finished.
Brady remains one of the most skilful players Ireland ever produced and is a legendary figure at both Arsenal and Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles in the early-1980s.
Paul McGrath on Brady’s Italia ’90 omission.
Despite this, he was controversially left out of the Ireland squad for the 1990 World Cup, and McGrath has previously stated that this was a mistake on the part of then-manager Jack Charlton.
“Given Liam’s experience of world football and the fact he has played with four different Italian First Division clubs, he would be invaluable to us at the World Cup,” McGrath told The Irish Sun in 2020.
“But then, it’s not down to me or the other players to pick him, that’s Jack Charlton’s problem.”
McGrath/Keane mutual respect.
As for Keane, the respect between McGrath and the Corkman is clearly mutual after Keane told Gary Neville earlier this year that McGrath is one of his favourite Ireland players, alongside Denis Irwin.
Elsewhere in Saturday’s Q&A, McGrath was asked if he had sent Keane a Christmas card, to which he replied ‘no, but he always sends be a Valentine’s card,’ something we suspect Keane might deny if he was asked about it.
If you were to conduct a straw poll on Ireland’s three greatest players, it’s likely that many supporters would come up with the combination of McGrath, Brady and Keane, so it’s nice to see that the men themselves hold each other in such high regard.